A top EPA official has resigned, supposedly in protest at the direction the Agency has taken under President Trump.
Or — as we climate realists prefer to put it — #winning.
Elizabeth “Betsy” Southerland had worked at the EPA for thirty years. But on Tuesday she resigned from her post as director of science and technology in the Office of Water, claiming “the environmental field is suffering from the temporary triumph of myth over truth.”
Just what incredibly good news Southerland’s departure is can be best be appreciated by reading her farewell letter.
It’s supposed to be her Parthian shot — a damning indictment of the decline of a once-great institution under the wicked Donald Trump and his sinister henchman, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.
But, actually, it tells you rather more about the weird, reality-denying mindset which prevails among the inhabitants of the swamp which Trump is busily trying to drain.
“It’s never been harder to be a climate scientist,” claims a heartrending piece in New Republic.
Climate scientists working directly for the Trump administration are the most affected. A report published last week by the Union of Concerned Scientists describes a “culture of fear” as government scientists are gagged, sidelined, or fired, and funding cuts loom. “Some are afraid to utter the words ‘climate change,’” the report reads.
But wait. You haven’t got to the saddest part, yet.
“All action at the agency on climate has effectively stopped,” an EPA air quality scientist told The Guardian in June. And they’re being discouraged from interacting with other climate scientists. “There was a climate conference in Atlanta last month and EPA employees were told not to go,” the scientist said, “so even simple interactions are coming to an end.”
In sadness terms I would say that this is quite literally even sadder than a picture on the internet of a cute kitten with a bandaged paw.
Think about it. These EPA scientists work hard to spend your tax dollar. That trip to the climate conference in Atlanta would have afforded them a vital opportunity not just to rack up air miles but also to broaden their understanding of the challenges facing us. For example, by visiting the legendary Georgia Aquarium they would get to experience at first hand all the innocent sea creatures that are likely to be melted if ever ocean acidification actually becomes a thing.
Meet Dr Olivia Doll, the world’s smartest dog. Dr Doll is the formal professional name of Ollie, a Staffordshire terrier, who sits on the board of seven international medical journals and was recently asked to review a paper on the management of tumors.
Her impressive curriculum vitae lists her current role as senior lecturer at the Subiaco College of Veterinary Science and past associate of the Shenton Park Institute for Canine Refuge Studies — which is code for her earlier life in the dog refuge.
Ollie’s owner, veteran public health expert Mike Daube, decided to test how carefully some journals scrutinised their editorial reviewers, by inventing Dr Doll and making up her credentials.
The five-year-old pooch has managed to dupe a range of publications specialising in drug abuse, psychiatry and respiratory medicine into appointing her to their editorial boards.
Dr Doll has even been fast-tracked to the position of associate editor of the Global Journal of Addiction and Rehabilitation Medicine.
Several journals have published on their websites a supplied photo of Dr Doll, which is actually of a bespectacled Kylie Minogue.
Professor Daube said none of them smelt a rat, despite Dr Doll’s listed research interests in “the benefits of abdominal massage for medium-sized canines” and “the role of domestic canines in promoting optimal mental health in ageing males”.
The Canadian investigative journalist Donna Laframboise concluded something similar in a report last year for the Global Warming Policy Foundation.
“A journal’s decision to publish a paper provides no assurance that its conclusions are sound . . . Fraudulent research makes it past gatekeepers at even the most prestigious journals. While science is supposed to be self-correcting, the process by which this occurs is haphazard and byzantine.”
Laframboise was especially damning about the way “peer review” has been used to flatter dubious research in the field of climate ‘science’.
This has been a well-publicized problem with climate science ever since the Climategate emails leak showed the scientists at the heart of the global warming ‘consensus’ engaging in all manner of skullduggery in order to prop up their debased cod-scientific theory.
One of the most expensive, intrusive, and far-reaching pieces of legislation in recent U.S. history is a bad smell from the Obama era, motivated by a leftist, anti-capitalist agenda and based on the purest nonsense.
Two groups — Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) and the Concerned Household Electricity Consumers Council (CHECC) — claim EPA’s 2009 “endangerment finding” should be updated with new evidence invalidating the agency’s previous claim greenhouse gases threatened public health.
Their concerns are understandable given that, as CHECC argues in its petition, the flimsy evidence on which EPA based its endangerment finding has now been proven false beyond all reasonable doubt.
The Endangerment Finding purported to find that human-generated greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide constitute a “danger” to human health and welfare because of their effect in warming the atmosphere.
When EPA released its CO2 endangerment finding in 2009, it used three lines of evidence to bolster its argument that greenhouse gases threatened human health through global warming.The crux of EPA’s argument rested on the existence of a “tropical hotspot” where global warming would be most apparent. That is, there should be enhanced warming in the tropical troposphere — the “fingerprint” of global warming.
However, according to a report produced last year by three respected scientists — James P Wallace III, John Christy, and Joe D’Aleo — this Tropical Hotspot (THS) “simply does not exist in the real world.”
I just watched Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, get eaten alive by Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace.
Not only was it an ugly and painful sight but it was also a very dispiriting one.
Here is the guy who was carefully selected to be in the vanguard of President Trump’s war on the Green Blob which, for decades, has been doing untold damage to liberty, the scientific method, and the economy.
And he can’t even answer a few basic and obvious questions about why the job he is doing is necessary, important, and right.
Wallace asked him about the UN’s view that it was 95 percent likely that more than half the temperature increase since the mid-20th century is due to human activity.
Pruitt sweated, stuttered, and floundered.
Wallace asked him about NOAA’s claim that 2015 and 2016 are the hottest years on record.
Pruitt had no convincing comeback.
Wallace asked him the age-old question beloved by climate alarmists: “What if you’re wrong? What if CO2 is causing dramatic climate change and we as humans are responsible?”
Pruitt just didn’t know how to respond.
There should have been nothing complicated or unexpected about these questions. They are the kind of thing any half-way decent interviewer might have asked, be he a hostile one or a semi-friendly Fox News one playing devil’s advocate.
And if Scott Pruitt had had even the most cursory briefing and media training in his new role, he should have been prepared for them.
Not only should he have known the most effective answers to give; but he should have been so confident in the rightness and truth of his cause that he should have been able to seize the moment and make the points that really need to be made about President Trump’s environmental policy: that it is being enacted for the good of science, for the good of the economy and the core mission of Making America Great Again.
How could Scott Pruitt not do this?
Any one of us on the skeptical side of the argument could have pointed him to dozens of leading scientists — and hundreds if not thousands of papers and articles — that could easily have enabled Pruitt to say what needed to be said.
He could have noted the incompetence, corruption, and mendacity of the heavily politicized IPCC; the dishonest manipulation by organizations like NOAA — indeed especially NOAA — of the raw temperature data; the utter meaninglessness of the “hottest year evah” claims so often made in the liberal media.
And he could easily have batted off the “What if you’re wrong?” question by making perhaps the most important point of all that needs to be made about the “war” on “carbon”: that what it all comes down to is cost benefit analysis. To whit: the trillions of dollars being spent every year on the possibility that there might be a problem, a) could be spent much more usefully elsewhere and b) are doing more harm than good.
Pruitt was incapable of doing this though because, trained lawyer though he is, he is simply not on top of his brief.
President Trump’s attempts to drain the swamp are being undermined by one of his key administrators.
Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, is more interested in building his political career than he is taking on the Green Blob, insiders report.
Pruitt is also said to be behind attempts to remove at least one of the key phrases from the president’s long-awaited Executive Order on the environment.
It concerns a proposal to repeal the EPA’s Endangerment Finding on CO2 (the disastrous, unscientific, job-killing ruling introduced during the Obama Administration, which rebranded the harmless trace gas Carbon Dioxide as a dangerous substance).
If Pruitt is successful and this clause is removed from the Executive Order it will represent a major setback for President Trump’s war with the Climate Industrial Complex. It may also put into jeopardy the promises Trump made on the campaign trail to scrap “any regulation that is outdated, unnecessary, bad for workers, or contrary to the national interest.”
“This is the president’s one shot at winning this battle,” an ally in the EPA camp warns. “It’s like the French heavy cavalry at Agincourt: lose momentum and he’s going to get stuck in the mud being shot to pieces by the English longbows.”
To understand the background to this story, you need to know who Scott Pruitt is and how he landed such a key job. The dismantling of the EPA, after all, is a core part of Trump’s swamp-draining program — so clearly it mattered greatly that the Administrator’s position should go to a capable, determined figure.
Asked his views on the role of carbon dioxide, the heat-trapping gas produced by burning fossil fuels, in increasing global warming, Mr. Pruitt said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that “I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact, so, no, I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.”
That phrase, “the heat-trapping gas produced by burning fossil fuels,” is just a bit of New York Times editorializing, by the way. No serious person thinks that man-made carbon dioxide poses any kind of major climate threat because there’s just no evidence to support that theory. It’s just one of those cherished left-liberal myths that goes next to other fantasy concepts like “equality,” “sustainability,” and “social justice.”
Speaking of which, the second piece of good news is that the Environmental Protection Agency has just lost its head of Environmental Justice.
Probably you didn’t know that the EPA had a head of Environmental Justice, but you should because you’ve been paying his salary since the George H.W. Bush era. His name is Mustafa Ali, and, according to a tearful requiem in Inside Climate, he has resigned in protest at EPA budget cuts, which will see the agency lose 20 percent of its 15,000 staff and $2 billion from its $8 billion.
“Jumped before he was pushed” is the phrase that comes to mind, for it is likely that Ali’s department will be dismantled altogether.
Ali has written a resignation letter to Scott Pruitt saying what a mistake this would be.
But if you go to the EPA’s website and see what the Environmental Justice Department has been doing for the last few years, you may disagree with this assessment.
By the end, you’ll have no more idea what the Environmental Justice Department does than you did at the beginning.
Here’s a taste:
Through EJ 2020, EPA will advance our environmental justice efforts to a new level in improving the health and environment of overburdened communities. By 2020, we will:
Improve on-the-ground results for overburdened communities through reduced impacts and enhanced benefits
Institutionalize environmental justice integration in EPA decision-making
Build robust partnerships with states, tribes and local governments
Strengthen our ability to take action on environmental justice and cumulative impacts
Better address complex national environmental justice issues.
Our vision of how EPA will make a difference in the environmental and public health landscape over the next five years is detailed on the key results page of the plan.
It is, as I think you’ll agree, pure gibberish. How do you measure this department’s success in advancing the cause of “environmental justice”? Well, of course, you don’t. You can’t because “environmental justice” is a nebulous concept, which can mean pretty much anything you want it to mean.
Reading between the lines, though, what you can guess is that it’s basically another race-guilt make-work scheme. It’s based on the (spurious, identity-politics-driven) notion that environmental problems are felt more keenly by people of color because they live in poorer areas more vulnerable to pollution.
If she wants a pony and bats her eyelashes at me, I’ll be off in a trice to buy her a herd. Baby unicorn ponies, if that’s what she prefers. With jewels inlaid in their spiral horns and maybe some magical attachment that plays the collected works of Taylor Swift while she rides.
So I totally get where President Trump is coming from when I read reports that, under the influence of Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, he has toned the phrasing of an Executive Order so that it no longer includes derogatory comments about the utterly useless and pointless climate deal signed in Paris in 2015 by Barack Obama.
Kushner and Ivanka “intervened to strike language about the climate deal from an earlier draft of the executive order,” sources familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.
Ivanka and her husband “have been considered a moderating influence on the White House’s position on climate change and environmental issues,” WSJ reports. Now, the executive order will have no mention of the so-called Paris agreement.
If it’s just a case of casual daughter-pleasing, fine. But if he actually means it than we should all start to worry.
I’ve said it before but it’s worth saying again: if President Trump proves to be as radical on energy and climate as he promised to be on the campaign trail, then this, even if he achieves nothing else, will more than qualify him for a place next to the greats on Mt Rushmore.
He will go down in history as the hero who slew ManBearPig: the president who, unlike his pusillanimous, career-safe, Establishment predecessors from Clinton and the Bushes to the ultimate horror that was Obama, finally had the courage, integrity and honesty to point out that the Climate Emperor is wearing no clothes; the guy who brought to the end the greatest scientific scandal ever; who saved Western Industrial Civilisation from the Watermelons.
But it’s all very well having good instincts and good intentions. The hard part will be dealing with all the obstacles thrown in his way by the monstrously large group of special interests sometimes known as the Green Blob and sometimes as the Climate Industrial Complex.